Nicki Minaj and the Crooked Room

In the first chapter of Melissa Harris-Perry’s Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, she introduces the concept of the “crooked room.” This term comes from research studies in cognitive psychology on field dependence, which examines how humans perceive themselves to be vertical in a given space. Subjects were placed in a crooked […]

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Express Yourself: Sexual Expression in Black Women Across Class Boundaries

For many African American women, their sexual expression and the perception of their bodies by others has not been historically theirs to own. With stereotypes such as the view as an overtly sexual being such as the “Jezebel” having followed them for centuries past and present, African American women struggle to express their sexual freedom. […]

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The Legacy of Strange Fruit

Like many of my classmates, I vividly remember the first time I heard “Strange Fruit.” I was in seventh grade, and it was at a school assembly in which students reenacted pivotal moments from the Civil Rights Movement (my school at the time was primarily black and went all the way up to twelfth grade). […]

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Strange Resistance

Southern trees bear a strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swingin’ in the Southern breeze Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees – “Strange Fruit” [1] The first time I heard “Strange Fruit”, a song popularized by legendary jazz songstress Billie Holiday, I was transfixed.  Lulled by the […]

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